Unitarian Sunday Reflections

(Hull and Lincoln Unitarians)

Sunday 7 August 2022


Lincoln Service ~ 11 am

 Hull Service ~ 4 pm

Join Hull Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 851 6409 5601

Passcode: 130597




Hymns, Reflections, and Readings

on Peace and history of Hiroshima & Nagasaki


We continue to Pray for the Ukraine, Yemen, and all places of war and destruction and all people, creatures and the environment effected by these wars.


May Peace come

“No more war, please”



Welcome to each and to all:

seekers, journeyers, questing, and content.

May our time of reflection and worship,

fill our desire for wholeness and belonging.

In this time together we are made worthy…..



Shall we call it
The Beginning of the End or
The End of the Beginning?

~ David Krieger



words by John Carter


We light our chalice, this candle,

          as a sign of connectedness….

                     a symbol forged in the violence of Nazi Occupied Europe,

                               it was a beacon of hope, welcome, security

                                         a promise of assistance on the journey to safety.



We take a moment to reflect on our life and living of this week… as we reflect…. explore and ask of yourself….

          For what am I most grateful?

          For what am I least grateful?

          When did I have the greatest sense of belonging to myself, others, nature, the                     universe, God?


As we end these reflections, as we move to worship, may we continue to reflect on the things that make life whole and how we may grow ourselves into them.

May the Great Spirit of the Journey walk with us today.



1st Hymn

HFL 176 (CD We will sing for them /TK17)

“Come Together in Love”

words by Dorothy Grover


O come together in truth;

O come together in peace;

O come together in joy and sharing,

come together in knowing and caring;

come together,

O come together,

O come together in love.


We come together in search

of new beginnings for all,

where understanding and trust surround us —

gone the hate and fear that bound us;

come together,

O come together,

O come together in love.



“Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

~ J. Robert Oppenheimer


“The source of peace is within us; so also the source of war. And the real enemy is within us, and not outside. The source of war is not the existence of nuclear weapons or other arms. It is the minds of human beings who decide to push the button and to use those arms out of hatred, anger or greed.”

~ Dalai Lama XIV


“Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I would not have lifted a finger.”

~ Albert Einstein


“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

~ Lao-tse


“In nuclear war all men are cremated equal.”

~ Dexter Gordon


“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”


~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ


2nd Hymn

HFL 101 (CD1/TK9)

“Dear Lord and Father”

words by John Greenleaf Whittier


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

forgive our foolish ways!

Reclothe us in our rightful mind;

in purer lives thy service find,

in deeper reverence, praise.


In simple trust, like theirs who heard

beside the Syrian sea

the gracious calling of the Lord,

let us like them, without a word,

rise up and follow thee.


O Sabbath rest by Galilee!

O calm of hills above!

Where Jesus knelt to share with thee

the silence of eternity

interpreted by love!


With that deep hush subduing all

our words and works that drown

the tender whisper of thy call,

as noiseless let thy blessing fall

as fell thy manna down.


Drop thy still dews of quietness,

till all our strivings cease:

take from our souls the strain and stress,

and let our ordered lives confess

the beauty of thy peace.




by William Stafford


From the sky in the form of snow
comes the great forgiveness.
Rain grown soft, the flakes descend
and rest; they nestle close, each one
arrived, welcomed and then at home.


If the sky lets go some day and I’m
requested for such volunteering
toward so clean a message, I’ll come.
The world goes on and while friends touch down
beside me, I too will come.


“There’s a kind of theology at work here. The bombs are a kind of god. As his power grows, our fear naturally increases. I get as apprehensive as anyone else, maybe more so. We have too many bombs. They have too many bombs. There’s a kind of theology of fear that comes out of this. We begin to capitulate to the overwhelming presence. It’s so powerful. It dwarfs us so much. We say let the god have his way. He’s so much more powerful than we are. Let it happen, whatever he ordains. It used to be that the gods punished men by using the forces of nature against them or by arousing them to take up their weapons and destroy each other. Now god is the force of nature itself, the fusion of tritium and deuterium. Now he’s the weapon. So maybe this time we went too far in creating a being of omnipotent power. All this hardware. Fantastic stockpiles of hardware. The big danger is that we’ll surrender to the sense of inevitability and start flinging mud all over the planet.”

― Don DeLillo, End Zone


When the Bomb became our God

by David Krieger


“When the Bomb became our God
We loved it far too much,
Worshipping no other gods before it.
When the bomb became our god
We lived in a constant state of war
That we called peace.”


3rd Hymn

HFL 133 (CD HFL 4/TRACK 9)

“How Can I Keep from Singing!” 

Early Quaker Hymn/Song


My life flows on in endless song

Above earth’s lamentation:

I hear the real though far-off human

That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife

I hear the music ringing:

It sounds an echo in my soul —

How can I keep from singing!


What though the tempest round me roar,

I know the truth, it liveth.

What though the darkness round me close,

Songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm

While to that rock I’m clinging:

Since love prevails in heaven and earth,

How can I keep from singing!


When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,

And hear their death-knells ringing;

When friends rejoice, both far and near,

How can I keep from singing!

To prison cell and dungeon vile

Our thoughts of love are winging:

When friends by shame are undefiled,

How can I keep from singing!



Jesus and the Love-Ethic

by Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited,New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1949, 34-35.


Living in a climate of deep insecurity, Jesus, faced with so narrow a margin of civil guarantees, had to find some other basis upon which to establish a sense of well-being. He knew that the goals of religion as he understood them could never be worked out within the then-established order. Deep from with that order he projected a dream, the logic of which would give to all the needful security. There would be room for all, and no man would be a threat to his brother. “The kingdom of God is within.” “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.”


The basic principles of [Jesus’] way of life cut straight through to the despair of his fellows and found it groundless. By inference he says, “You must abandon your

fear for each other and fear only God. You must not indulge in any deception and dishonesty, even to save your lives. Your words must be Yea-Nay; anything else is evil. Hatred is destructive to hated and hater alike. Love your enemy, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”


Seeking Peace

by A Powell Davies


“People want peace — peace in the world, yes, but with an equal hunger for a greater peace within. They want, they say, to find God; and God will give them peace. So God will — if they will permit it. But God cannot even be heard in a soul that has silenced its own truth. God cannot speak the words of peace through a muffled conscience. No, and God cannot approve — for it comes to the same thing — a life that does not have its own approval.


Is it worth what it takes, then — could it be that it is really worth it — to seek at every cost this difficult approval? What is the answer of our own experience? What is life worth without it? Have we not tried the other ways — and failed and failed? Should we not seek the way all the truth and goodness that we know have pointed to?


No lesser way will bring us peace.”


4th Hymn

HFL 226 ( CD 3 / TK 19)

“Song of Peace”

words of Lloyd Stone


This is my song, O God of all the nations,

A song of peace for lands afar and mine;

This is my home, the country where my heart is,

Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;

But other hearts in other lands are beating

With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.


My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,

And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine;

But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover,

And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,

A song of peace for their land and for mine.



“Moving beyond our self”


This week I was able to see a bio pic about the WW1 Poet Siegfried Sassoon, it was well done, and a bit horrid in ways. What stood out to me was a bit of juxtaposition of film clips or newsreels of the war, with clips of cattle herding and the 1948 song Ghost Riders in the Sky.


When the song came on I wondered why they used that piece of music, and as the clips played it made sense to me. In looking at the lyrics and other data for the song, it becomes clearer, cautionary tale to warn us to change our ways or we are doomed.


Obviously not a theme we unitarians gravitate to, but yet we do, we recognise that if we don’t do our work for justice, or helping to improve one’s life and living….well we are then doomed. Only we don’t tend to the hell fire and damnation language that this so often evokes in our contemporary society. Yet we do recognise in our liberal religious perspectives that for life to survive on this planet we do need to change our lifestyles, and our ways of living, as well as our ways of solving conflict.


This isn’t the only way we reflect on these things, even our theological statements that are a positive view of the future, have an implied need of change perspective… consider these words from Theodore Parker, abolitionist, American Unitarian minister…


“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.”


In 1946, A Powell Davies, saw a large photo of a happy smiley couple, one a naval officer and wife…cutting a large cake in the shape of a Mushroom Cloud. This was in celebration of a successful nuclear test. This was in the Saturday Papers, and he was so incensed at this that he completely changed his service and wrote a whole new address. It made the news.


It demonstrates a pattern within Unitarian understanding of Spirituality. Our sense is that however you approach your spiritual development, it cannot just be for you. It has a transcendent quality, seeing that life is beyond your self, that it pushes you to seeing the other as important and worthy.


Retired minister David Usher states it this way….


“If you think that the responsibilities of your spiritual life begin and end with you, then the really bad news is that not only have you wasted some of your time and even your money in this, but your quest for spiritual health is fatuous and doomed to fail.  A healthy personal spirituality is impossible if it does not include an ambition and a sense of responsibility beyond self.”


It was this spiritual dynamic that has empower Unitarian activism throughout our history. From our concerns for educating the lower classes, to our willingness to explore what science and faith can mean, and our spiritual foundations have pushed us to enter into the conversations around social issues that wider society isn’t as willing  to even accept as necessary.


Whether we approach spirituality from a Theist or Atheist framework, or from a Christian or Buddhist centre, or from that sense of awe we feel when in nature, or at a game, or when we spend time with a loved one, friend, or family.


Our spiritual development will continue to push us to seeing the truth of the other, be they human, animal, nature, or that which is divine.



A Prayer for Hiroshima Day

By William G Sinkford


Like most traumatic scars, the ones that are found in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are permanent: reminders of the terrible damage human beings can inflict.


Similar scars can be found in the hearts and souls of people around the world who understand this terror: scars of grief, sadness, fear and even shame.


None of these scars promise an end to war and devastation. Instead, they serve as a reminder of healing and renewal—of a return to life.


Gracious God, Spirit of Life and Love, help us to see our scars: those we have created, those we are called to witness, and those we can soothe and heal.


We are deeply grateful for the buds and blossoms that even the most scarred offer as a revelation to the world.


And, especially on this anniversary of Hiroshima Day, we renew our commitment to peace individually, collectively and globally:


To “peace within” which calms our anxieties and fears,


To “peace between” which overcomes differences, animosities and conflict,


And, to “the great peace,” beyond even our understanding, that is Your gift and which we attempt to be stewards of for the world.



Final Hymn

HFL 198 (CD3 / TK16)

“The healing of the nations”

words by Fred Kaan


For the healing of the nations,

God, we pray with one accord;

for a just and equal sharing

of the things that earth affords.

To a life of love in action

help us rise and pledge our word,

help us rise and pledge our word.


Lead us ever into freedom,

from despair your world release;

that, redeemed from war and hatred,

all may come and go in peace.

Show us how through care and goodness

fear will die and hope increase,

fear will die and hope increase.


All that kills abundant living,

let it from the earth depart;

pride of status, race or schooling,

dogmas keeping us apart.

May our common quest for justice

be our brief life’s hallowed art,

be our brief life’s hallowed art.



Go In Peace, Seeking Justice

By Jim Magaw


When I say go in peace, I don’t mean “go in mindless oblivion.” 

When I say go in peace, I don’t mean “go without challenging yourself or others.” 

When I say go in peace, I don’t mean “go in utter ease and comfort.”


When I say go in peace, I mean “go in peace, seeking justice.” 

I mean, “go in peace, committed to equal rights and opportunities for all.”


When I say, go in peace, I mean “Go in the peace that is created when, together, 
We build communities of true solidarity, deep compassion, and fierce, unrelenting love.”


Go in peace.

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